Specifically, I want to focus on the interior of the offensive line for the Giants and the difficult matchup they are going to have on Sunday.
While Harold Landry’s injury definitely hurts the Tennessee Titans’ defense, there is a lot of strength on the interior of the defensive line.
Jeffery Simmons needs no introduction, but you might like to hear one anyway. Simmons is the 25-year-old defensive tackle that coaches and evaluators around the NFL ranked as the best interior defender in the AFC and the second best in the entire league.
Whether he is bulldozing guards in the running game or splitting double teams to get to the quarterback, you can’t stop him you can only try to contain him.
Beside him, you have Naquan Jones who led the NFL in sacks by a rookie DT last year beating out guys like Christian Barmore. He and his UDFA running mate Teair Tart play with quickness and physicality, but they aren’t afraid to get their noses dirty in the running game either.
Throw in sub-package looks that could feature Rashad Weaver or Denico Autry lining up on the interior, and you have a nasty group that is looking to get to Daniel Jones and add to his impressive number of career fumbles (36 in 38 games).
So, which players are the New York Giants lining up to slow that group down?
Sizing up the Tennessee Titans’ advantage on defense
The best player in their interior is their starting center, Jon Feliciano. While Feliciano is playing center on Sunday, he is traditionally a utility player who can line up at either guard spot. In fact, over the last three seasons, he has played right guard in 20 games, left guard in 7 games, and center in 6 games, so you could argue that he is playing in the position where he is least comfortable right now.
On top of that, he was banged up earlier in the preseason and while he seems like he will be ready to play on Sunday, you would like to have your starting center get as many reps as possible with your starting quarterback in practice.
Starting at right guard they have Mark Glowinski who the Tennessee Titans are very familiar with from his time with the Indianapolis Colts.
While Glowinski has been a solid guard in his career, his games against the Titans have been some of the worst of his career. That can’t be particularly encouraging for anyone on that side of the ball.
Finally, the biggest liability that the Giants have on their offensive line has to be left guard Joshua Ezeudu. The plan wasn’t for Ezeudu to start, but Shane Lemieux was hurt early in camp and he never recovered which landed him on I.R.
Maybe if he had a clean camp the Giants could be more confident in him, but due to an injury of his own, he only appeared in the first week of the preseason. That means that the rookie is going to have to make a big jump while also fighting off whatever is bothering him physically.